BANDIPORA, June 23: Even after more than 12 years, the ambitious water supply scheme at Ashtangoo in district Bandipora is still incomplete forcing locals to fetch drinking water from nearby streams.
A local resident Manzoor Ahmad told Kashmir Despatch that the construction of water supply scheme was started in 2010 by Jal Shakti division Bandipora but the scheme is yet to be completed due to which people face immense difficulties. He said that spending more than Rs 3 Crores on the water supply scheme the government has failed to provide safe drinking water to the residents of this area sofar.
The locals said that they are forced to consume contaminated water fetched from the nearby canals as the villagers have no other provision for obtaining drinking water. They said the water supply scheme would have benefited around 1000 households of the village including Badyari, Ashtangoo, Kanbathi and Ashtangoo Ghat but the villagers have been left high and dry as the scheme is yet to be completed despite passing more than 10 years.
Another local Mohammad Ramzan told Kashmir Despatch that despite repeated meetings with the district administration nothing positive has happened on the ground so far. The villagers alleged that a tapered water supply pipeline was laid in the area that has no capacity to pump water from the source to distribute among the habitations.
They alleged: “It seems that the pipeline was laid just to draw money from the state exchequer and hoodwink the higher authorities.” Locals said that the Ashtangoo water supply scheme, if made operational would benefit almost five villages in the vicinity. “Presently this water supply scheme caters to only one village,” the locals added.
Meanwhile, the Executive Engineer Jal Shakti department Bandipora told Kashmir Despatch that the Ashtangoo water supply scheme is now under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and within three to four months this scheme will be made functional to the benefit of the whole area. He said that due to deficiency of funds some of the work on this water supply scheme is incomplete. “We are trying to complete work on this scheme as soon as possible,” he added.